Start A Petition

Woman Jailed for Getting Pregnant Dies From Medical Neglect

Society & Culture  (tags: women rights, pregnant woman, jailed, dies, investigation, crime )

- 2735 days ago -
Thrown in jail for getting pregnant? That seems like a particularly absurd violation of women's reproductive rights. But it's actually an established policy in Allegheny County, PA. Cara reports at the Curvature that, for Amy Lynn Gillespie, becoming

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.


Nancy Anderson (21)
Monday November 22, 2010, 5:11 pm
Unbelievable! I thought this was the 21st century, not the dark ages. I hope they revamp the whole system.

Ralph R Sutton (56)
Monday November 22, 2010, 6:06 pm
SIGNED!! Thanks, Simone.

Carol H (229)
Monday November 22, 2010, 6:48 pm
sadly noted,.unreal in this day and age!

Fran F (118)
Tuesday November 23, 2010, 6:31 pm
Definitely signed! Thank you, Simone.

Eva O (60)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 2:47 am
Sadly noted and to be signed - thank you for sharing.

James F (5)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 3:26 am
From the headline I'd assumed this would be another grim tale from Saudi Arabia or somewhere else where women's rights are virtually non-existent. Pennsylvania? That did surprise me.
Looks like Allegheny Correctional Health Services are going to lose a hefty lawsuit and the jail warden might be the next inmate at his own facility.

Krasimira B (175)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 1:02 pm
Unbelievable! Signed and noted, thank you Simone.

Susan Pernot (75)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 1:17 pm
Disgusting, what century is this?
signed and noted

Gloria H (88)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 1:31 pm
Kind of strange that male prisoners can have conjugal visits from women who they may impregnate, but if a woman gets pregnant, she gets tossed into the slammer.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 1:33 pm
Whatever became of the right to life? Care to answer that? (Right To Lifers)

Mary P (157)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 1:34 pm
James - "From the headline I'd assumed this would be another grim tale from Saudi Arabia or somewhere else
where women's rights are virtually non-existent. Pennsylvania?"

Discrimination of women and their Rights are rife throughout
The world; its Not limited to any specific country,religion,race or

Its especially disgusting when it happens in countries which
Boast gender equality and are quick to criticize other countries
yet they turn a blind eye when its Happening in their own backyards

eileen k (1)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 1:44 pm
That's not all, James. How about felony negligent homicide charges for the deaths of both mother and fetus? Also, becoming pregnant is NO crime; so, those who arrested this unfortunate young woman are also guilty of false arrest - a violation of the Bill of Rights. Therefore, in addition to criminal felony charges, the County of Allegheny should be hit with a multimillion-dollar lawsuit from the victim's family; as, two innocent lives were snuffed out through deliberate negligence.

Thanks, Simone, for sharing.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 1:58 pm
Noted. Thank you.

ewoud k (68)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 2:35 pm
What country?

Signed and noted.

Poor girl, simpathy for the family.

Ken L (28)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 2:39 pm
How completely disgusting this is, and does President Obama allow this to happen.

Barbara K (60)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 2:51 pm
How horrifying! Who made it a law that a woman cannot get pregnant? She should not have been in that jail in the first place, and then to be neglected like that is a travesty. I'm glad her parents are suing, maybe the judge and police and prison authorities will get what they've got coming to them. They deserve no mercy.

Lisa Zarafonetis (168)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 3:00 pm
Signed & Shared on Facebook!!! :(

Jacki Hileman (20)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 3:16 pm
How rude, huh ?

William Y (54)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 3:28 pm
What is this? The Dark ages? Stupidity reigns supreme. This is definitely a human rights violationand the idiot who dreamed it up should be prosecuted.

debra Reece Simons (4)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 3:30 pm
I am sorry for this woman and her family.
I do not know all the details but I did work as an RN in a jail facility of 1000 max security inmates, mainly men, some women , for a year part time. The inmates had access to medical care. Nurses came to the units daily to deliver medications and pick up sick call forms. Don't know how she slipped thru the cracks or if it happened suddenly. Illnesses can change on a dime, pneumonia can happen quickly from a formerly stable flu or bad sinus infection. Pregnant women are more prone to this.
That being said I did see women come into the jail who should never have been allowed to become pregnant. I had many booked in for different charges, drugs, shoplifting, and they freely admitted they had just used illegal drugs that very day. To me, these women should have never been allowed a "freedom of reproduction" rights.. some came in pregnant with AIDS, some pregnant and heroin addicts.
Such irresponsiblity and disregard for the fetus that it is criminal. And these women should be charged or sterilized.Their rights end where those babies rights begin.. that should be the credo of all pregnant women.
Anyway. If the woman was a prostitute she was indeed endangering that innocent baby each and every day. Debra Reece Simons, Asheville, NC

Genoveva M M (328)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 4:16 pm

Mary Coleman (148)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 5:18 pm
noted and signed. There are SO MANY THINGS WRONG with what happened here that I am just livid!!!!

Ellen G (0)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 5:49 pm
I had always been concerned that we were becoming a third world country. With this article I realize that we are already there and just hope it doesn't go downhill from here. Who would have ever expected a story like this coming from the United States? I am horrified and I am angry. Do we not have any moral compass when something like this happens? Those responsible should pay dearly and not just get a slap on the hand, they not only robbed this woman of her life, the life of an unborn child was taken as well.

Carolyn L (24)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 6:48 pm
What happened to common sense and compassion? Hopefully justice will prevail and this will never happen again. So tragic and inhumane! Group counseling, drug therapy, job training, and transitional housing would be more effective and less expensiive in the long run for these cases,

Donald Cordell (8)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 6:59 pm
When you keep electing Republicans and Democrats you allow the loss of our Freedoms to continue. IF you elect Don Cordell for President in 2012, I will Restore, not change America. I will restore everyone of our Bill of Rights. Going to have some big changes in Washington DC when I let Congress and the Senate the old ways are gone. New platform, returning to a government of "WE the People". We have millions of laws to control everything we do, police brutality is the norm, and more restrictions on our life are in the works to control our diet, our reproductive rights, or home environment with automatic temperature controls. So called Smart Meters for our electicity, so we can make sure we do not exceed our monthly allotment, or the power goes off. Surrender, or Fight! Which will you do?

Sylvie M (46)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 8:17 pm
What an awful story. It took me a while to understand that this town named Allegheny was in Pennsylvania, not Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, and to realise that I had NOT been abducted by aliens sending me back to the Middle Ages thru a time machine or slt. This is a REAL story, which happened TODAY in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

jane richmond (10)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 8:52 pm

Diane L (110)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 9:20 pm
This is sad, but wonder if there are facts we don't know about? I don't think it was unreasonable to put as part of her work release that she not become pregnant. How do we know that as a prostitute, she hadn't given birth to several infants in the past, maybe all of which ended up in the public welfare system? We don't know the facts. If she got pregnant again, against the requirements of being released, then I have NO issue with her being put back in jail! She wasn't jailed because she was pregnant, she was jailed because she violated the rules of her NOT being there all along.

How do we know that she hadn't complained before without reasons? How do we know that she hadn't tried to get sympathy with false complaints and eventually "cried wolf" so many times, the complaints were eventually ignored? We don't. Until all the facts are known, I'm reservig judgement.

Deborah L (70)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 10:55 pm
Kind of reminds me of the Handmaids Tale. First, do they enforce this kind of law unto the males who have had a run in with the law? How about the fact that one man can impregnate numerous women at the same time period whereas a woman usually has one child in the same time length?

Is this how the future will look like? Pregnancy police and will they start to lock up all pregnant women for their own good in some future world where controlling a pregnant woman's body is foremost order of the law in America? The way some of the Tea Party and the GOP want to deny women their right to decide, I would not be surprised to one day see pregnant women herded like chattel and put in the FEMA camps "for their own good."

And what about her getting pregnant, wouldn't that be considered an act of God? After all, these same people claim that God decides who will have a baby or not, regardless the type of parent or situation a child would be born into?

This should be investigated and the Dept. of Corr. and the state needs to be held accountable.

Deborah L (70)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 10:59 pm
What if this woman had been married and practiced a religion that forbid contraception. Or lived in a styate that denied birth control;and/or abortion? Bet they can't answer that can they?

Diane L (110)
Wednesday November 24, 2010, 11:19 pm
I don't know why I even waste time commenting in these discussions, since I only frustrate myself reading some of the responses! Deborah L., did you bother reading the entire article, or are you only replying based on the "subject/title"? If you'd read the whole thing, she had been on WORK RELEASE and it was a result of her being in jail for multiple offenses, INCLUDING prostitution. What about the child that she's carrying, or what about her other crimes? The fact that a man on work release can impregnate women is irrlevant. I don't think it would be a condition of "release" that a man not have sex, but if he's openly HiV and having unprotected sex with women, could be considered a crime, yes.

You're jumping on the bandwagon and screaming civil rights violations without thinking about the fact this woman had little regard for what she'd done, and who knows if she even tried to get medical help or not, or what she complained about. The story is pretty one-sided, actually. Personally, I don't believe she got pregnant thru an "Act of God". Seems to me, it was an act of SEX which she certainly had control over, unless she had been raped. Since she was in jail for prostitution (amongst other things), that doesn't seem likely.

Rose Becke (141)
Thursday November 25, 2010, 12:34 am
This is something out of the "middle ages"

Ralph F (66)
Thursday November 25, 2010, 1:00 am
Completely sick result of creeping Authoritarianism.

Judy C (97)
Thursday November 25, 2010, 1:23 am
Diane, did your God invent the "act of SEX"? I can't resist asking that.

I did read the whole story, and this woman wasn't Lttle Miss Muffet. However, I've had pneumonia several times, and I can safely say you couldn't fake it. This was medical neglect. Even if the jail personnel were so punitive they wouldn't help this woman, and felt she deserved a death sentence, they had the responsibility to provide medical treatment to benefit the unborn baby! There is close to zero probability that in the prolonged time she was thought to be faking illness, that not one jail employee could telll this woman was not breathing propely, especially when she was asleep and couldn't fake the sound of fluiid in her lungs, uncontrollable coughing, and labored reapiration. She would have had a fever, as well.

Signed. Thanks, Simone.

Klaus Peters (14)
Thursday November 25, 2010, 2:38 am
When I first read this, I thought: must be a muslim country. After reading further I realized this happened in the US. That really disappointed me, I thought the USA stand for freedom, democracy and women's rights etc. She should not have been in jail in the first place for being pregnant. She should have been in medical care concidering her medical history. Wardens are no medics. I feel sorry for her Mum.

Past Member (0)
Thursday November 25, 2010, 6:16 am
I signed it and also became very mad over this entire matter but I noticed one thing if this had happen to African-American there would people coming down from everywhere stopping this but seeing how this was a white person nothing was even said anywhere except here I wonder why?

ChanTlalok Rain C (363)
Thursday November 25, 2010, 6:45 am
thanx Simone for sharing, a lot of good comments. Two lives are gone and it happened in a control environment, doesn't make sense especially in the Good Ole USA (I want my Native way of life back). Maybe we have all been brain-washed by this Government on what to expect here in this conquered land. Blessings!!

Past Member (0)
Thursday November 25, 2010, 7:14 am
Maybe she was in jail for violating her parole but that is still no excuse for the lack of medical treatment that this woman needed. I support the grieving mother who not only lost her daughter but a grandchild as well.

barbara n (10)
Thursday November 25, 2010, 9:19 am
First I thought "no, impossible in US", then I started to understand that no country is free of cruelty, ignorance, prejudice.

Sheryl G (363)
Thursday November 25, 2010, 10:28 am
Total disregard for life. We must remember here, that TWO lives died by this neglect.

Pregnancy should not be a reason for ending up in jail, should not be a condition for ending up in jail, and this pregnancy should not have led to a death sentence for this woman.

The climate in this Country is DISGRACEFUL!

Disgraceful from this story, to how we are groped, children and Elders included in the airport, to our Leaders wanting to cut the Social Security benefits to Disabled and Elders, to allowing our schools to go from the best in the world to ranking 18th in similar type Countries, to our ranking 38th in the World for Health Care. Even Morocco ranks higher in it's health care to it's citizens with rank of 13.

Is it no wonder this woman died with such a shabby health care system that is outside the prison system so we can just imagine inside. Is it no wonder this woman had to steal food and do other harmful work to her own self to survive, what kind of opportunities do we offer with a sad educational system and then no jobs when you graduate.

This Country is getting very good at punishing the already victimized.

Lidia E F (8)
Thursday November 25, 2010, 11:10 am
The human race is a cold savage one isn't it?.

. (0)
Thursday November 25, 2010, 3:27 pm
The woman was obviously in the wrong as well, but didn't deserve death for her mistake. Couldn't they just have suspended her work release? This is a sad day. I want to know what happened to the man that got her pregnant.

Diane L (110)
Friday November 26, 2010, 12:00 am
Judy, "God" has nothing to do with this. This woman was jailed for multiple offenses, including prostitution. She was out on "work release" and part of the conditions were that she behave herself, if I read the article correctly. Obviously, she didn't and disobeyed the conditions of her being OUT of jail. So, back she went!

I've also had pneumonia, and it wasn't all that easy to diagnose. In fact, I went to three different clinics and doctors and they STILL told me I didn't have it! I am NOT a "hypocondriac" and had insurance, but yet, I was mis-diagnosed with "bronchitis" and given an inhaler and cough syrup by one doctor, and another told me I had a "bad cold", nothing worse!

Hugh, no this woman didn't deserve to die, and all I'm saying is that there may be facts we just don't know as far as what she complained about, what she was treated for, etc. By putting her back in jail, that's exactly what they DID do........"suspended" her work release! She wasn't jailed because she was pregnant, she was jailed because she was only out on WORK RELEASE in the first place, and violated the conditions of that. It's terrible that she did end up losing her life. Nancy, I really don't have a ton of sympathy for her Mother, sorry if that sounds callous, but it would appear she didn't do all that great a job of raising her daughter, so why would we think the unborn child would have been brought up any differently? Dandelion, get a grip or at least read the facts. This woman wasn't forced to steal to feed herself. Nor did she become a prostitute because she was forced to.........or did I miss something there? If she was starving, where was Mom? Why didn't her "grieving Mother" feed her? Did Mom abandon her and force her into prostitution? If so, then why would Mom's feelings now suddenly be a consideration?

pam w (139)
Friday November 26, 2010, 9:19 pm
Forget the pregnancy...we don't know and cannot know why she got pregnant. DENYING MEDICAL CARE IS CRIMINAL IN ITSELF!

Diane L (110)
Saturday November 27, 2010, 1:14 am
"Forget the pregnancy"? Why, since that's a big part of everybody's anger at this entire situation..........TWO lives lost, right? Pam, we don't know WHY but that's also a bit irrelevant. She DID, and that violated her terms of being released from jail. I AGREE that she should have gotten medical attention, and still am not sure we got all the facts from the article, since it didn't state first of all, how long she'd been complaining of problems, to what extent, nor how far along she was. If she was in the early stages of pregnancy, then that shouldn't have even been a factor as far as "medical care".

I guess what bothers me is how everybody is "sue happy", and in this case, her Mother, but where was Mom before this woman got into trouble in the first place? Did she never visit the daughter while in jail? Did she notice that the daughter was sick, and if so, why didn't she do something to make sure the daughter got medical help? This whole thing just reeks of a lack of all the information.

Christopher Fowler (82)
Monday November 29, 2010, 11:29 am
The woman was VOP'd (violation of probation). Happens all the time. She was not arrested for getting pregnant but because she violated the terms of her probation, which mandated that she not get pregnant while on probation. This is not rocket science and she should have had enough sense to do everything within her power to prevent a pregnancy. That part is her fault.

However, the way that she was treated, medically, after she was re-incarcerated, is both horrible and inexcusable. Even a woman who is not pregnant is entitled to proper medical care in jail, so why did they ignore a woman that was pregnant, resulting in her death?

The people responsible should be sued for criminal negligence for refusing to treat someone who was ill and through their negligence illegally killed her and her child through their negligence.
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story

Loading Noted By...Please Wait


butterfly credits on the news network

  • credits for vetting a newly submitted story
  • credits for vetting any other story
  • credits for leaving a comment
learn more

Most Active Today in Society & Culture

Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.

New to Care2? Start Here.